Saturday, November 10, 2018

25 Years strong Auditel Telecom Refunds and TEM bring $125 Million

Auditel Inc. of Florida, an auditing telecommunication company, celebrates 25 years in business. Barbara Clements founded Auditel in February of 1993. “I’m often asked how Auditel started and changed over the years.”
In the early 90’s, I was in the long-distance business, and one of our clients was Gooding’s Supermarkets, a Florida-based grocery store chain. While reviewing their telecom bills, I noticed they weren’t billed usages for 30 phone lines. The telecom vendor thought the phone lines were in use, but I could find none of the normal usages on any bills for the past 10 years, so I requested a site visit.

The Service Provider and the vendor spent the entire day trying to locate the 30 lines. Turns out theses were PBX lines that had never been delivered to the site. The next surprise was that they had been billing for the past 10 years!  We obtained a refund back to the service established date, plus interest. It was a sizable refund, and I knew right then that I was on to something. I started Auditel and haven’t looked back.

Gooding’s hired Auditel to oversee their telecom department, and the bank branches inside the supermarkets used our telecom audit services as well and the journey began.  I grew my team as I had a heart for finding mistakes in the phone and data billings. Turned out there were a lot of errors in our client’s bills.  The news traveled quickly and we began getting requests for telecom audits for clients like Florida Hospital, Rotech Medical, Sears Pest Control, Airgas, 1st National Bank, Rent a Center,  the Orlando Sentinel, Pier 1 Imports, among others. It was truly amazing to be working with Fortune 500 Companies in our first years of business.

As we expanded, I developed a telecom training curriculum that brought in IT managers, telecom managers, telecom service technicians, telecom analysts, and accounts payable for workshop training. The telecom expense management workshop provided the tools and process needed to analyze Service Providers taxes, surcharges, fees, contracts, and USOC codes. With our GSA schedule we trained several divisions of the U.S. Marines, and The National Weather Service. Then large corporations came for training like GMAC Insurance, Southern Company, RentWay, EchoStar (now Dish Networks) and many more of our clients that can’t be named due to confidentiality and NDA.  

We recently performed telecom expense management services for a client with a current TEM provider. After two other firms independently conducted the telecom audit they couldn’t find any telecom refunds or savings.  The client asked Auditel to perform the same audit, within 3 weeks we delivered findings of over $350K in refunds plus monthly savings, with no change of Service Provider, and no upfront costs. Auditel contingency TEM services delivered unbiased results along with hefty telecom refunds.

What started out as a question about a Gooding’s phone bill ended up starting the foundations of Auditel. Now thanks to our clients, for over 25 years now we’ve delivered telecom audits, inventory management, telecom training with templates and tool for success. We plan to continue to provide excellent service and contingency based telecom expense management.”

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What is Mobile Expense Management?


Mobile Expenses management or MEM is known as Wireless Expense Management and Optimization in Wikipedia. Wikepedia describes Wireless Expense Management and Optimization: Corporations need to be able to focus on their core business, the larger the business the more there is to handle on a day-to-day basis. And businesses with a large mobile / cellular / wireless presence also have the expenses associated with them. 

These companies need professional Telecom Expense Management (TEM) to help them manage their wireless telecom bills accurately and effectively. For a business already under pressure from their primary business obligations tasking an accounts payable department with tracking the ever-changing wireless technologies and changing General Ledger(GL), codes from acquisitions and mergers can be overwhelming and are not qualified to track what they need to look for to make sure that telecom bills are truly accurate and the business is not being overcharged.

Improve corporate mobile budget and budget forecasting using mobile reporting and Auditel mobile expense management services.  Our analysis and mobile expense management reporting give management accurate insight into the mobile spend and mobile asset environment. Helping upper management by reducing the time and efforts to review the outdated inventory and mobile phones.  

Auditel gives management the tools and insight into the entire mobile environment. Auditel provides up to date usages making mobile budget planning and forecasting simple. We take the tough decisions out of the equation.  Our mobile expense management is built around an accurate mobile inventory all the while reducing mobile cost.


For detailed information feel free to contact me on auditel@auditelinc.com visit #auditelincorp on twitter or LinkedIn.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FCC Uncovers Mystery Fees Inside Verizon Wireless Bills, Up to 90 Million in Refunds Expected


Over 15 Million customers will get money back from Verizon!  This report seems farfetched, so we dug into the evidence.  Our story comes from two reliable sources, an October 3rd, 2018 Verizon Press Release, and an October 3rd, 2010 FCC Press Release.  The FCC broadcast "We can confirm reports of an FCC investigation into mystery fees that appeared on Verizon Wireless bills costing over 15 million Americans tens of millions of dollars. Reportedly, Verizon itself has put the amount of overcharges at more than fifty million dollars dating back two years.” Michele Ellison, FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief, stated.
Mary Coyne, Deputy General Counsel Verizon Wireless stated “In October and November, we are notifying about 15 million customers, through their regular bill messages, that we are applying credits to their accounts due to mistaken past data charges. We will mail former customers refund checks. In most cases, these credits are in the $2 to $6 range; some will receive larger credits or refunds. As we reviewed customer accounts, we discovered that over the past several years’ 15 million customers who did not have data plans could have been billed for data sessions on their phones that they did not initiate. These customers would normally have been billed at the standard rate of $1.99 per megabyte for any data they chose to access from their phones”.
Ellison says "The FCC Enforcement Bureau began looking into this matter ten months ago after reports from consumers about these mystery fees. Our role is to protect American consumers and give them a voice.  Consumers have a right to receive straight bills and to get straight answers when they question them.  We're gratified to see Verizon agree to finally repay its customers.  But questions remain as to why it took Verizon two years to reimburse its customers and why greater disclosure and other corrective actions did not come much, much sooner.”
What will happen to all the mistakes that are not uncovered by the FCC, the errors not reported by any service provider, and never challenged?  What about all of the mistakes on those wireless bills where services were cancelled, or provider changed, or sadly in today’s economy the business is now closed?  The average person changes cell phone plans almost as often as they buy a new suit.  Data lines change as new and innovative ways to broaden our bandwidth are revealed.  Do you trust your bills?
If Verizon Wireless was challenged for ten plus months to correct this issue why did it take them two years to correct it?  Our challenge is to review all the various Service Providers telecom billings and ensure that any billing error is corrected and recovery is given as soon as possible. 
How can the public be aware of the various tariffs, taxes, contract compliances and surcharges?    It is extremely difficult for an individual to review their cell phone bill.  How can corporations and government entities review their bills?  They have mountains of bills they receive monthly.  They must understand and find the corresponding tariff for each fee inside of each various telecom service and check the contract compliance that goes with each fee.  Add this to the fact that the fees checked last month may vary as they are constantly changing.
Getting something back from Verizon Wireless for these small cell phone bill overcharges is good, but recovery was very slow in coming.  There are thousands of billing errors in both the US and abroad.  Similar problems are found with every telecom service, in every Service Provider, in both US and global markets. Why not uncover the rest of the story inside of all your telecom bills? 

About the Author:
Barbara Clements is the founder & President of Auditel, Inc. (www.auditelinc.com), and Co-founder & Chair of Auditel Expense Management, India (AEM).  For over 19 years Auditel has delivered some of the highest findings in telecom bill tariff, surcharge, and tax recoveries.  Auditel is a leader in the TEM industry and delivers telecom bill expense management and analytics with a forensic approach.  Auditel is known for its attention to detail, customer service, and strong track record in telecom recovery for US Corporations, State, Local, and Federal Government.  We provide a complimentary telecom consultation plus our guarantee that if there is no recovery, there is no fee!  800-473-5655